A MECHANIC who sued a city tour bus company for £100,000 after being blinded in one eye in a horror accident at its depot has won his fight for damages.
Ross Carey was left distraught after permanently losing the sight in his left eye, and later emigrated to Australia in a bid to “start a new life”.
The 26-year-old took legal action against Edinburgh Tours, which is run by Lothian Buses, after the accident at its Seafield depot.
Mr Carey was struck in the eye by a piece of metal while repairing a Trident bus, and claimed he was unable to wear protective goggles because the storeroom holding them was closed.
The court had heard how Mr Carey’s life had fallen apart following the accident as he battled severe depression and broke up with his long-term partner.
Lawyers for his former employers told the Court of Session in Edinburgh that Mr Carey had been given training advising him to wear protective eyewear while working.
But the company has now settled the case with an undisclosed payout to Mr Carey, who formerly lived in Robertson Way in Livingston.
Mr Carey had been working an early shift at the bus depot on September 19, 2008, when the accident took place at around 7.15am.
He was trying to remove a front off-side camshaft from a Trident bus, but found it had become stuck. As he tried to release the camshaft a spark of metal flew into his left eye, blinding him. His lawyers told the court that their client had not been wearing protective glasses as the depot store was closed and he was “under pressure to get on with the job”.
Mr Carey underwent emergency surgery at the Princess Alexandra Eve Pavilion, but doctors were unable to restore his sight. He has been told that his eyesight will not improve.
His lawyers told the court that goggles were “not routinely worn” by employees as it was “not required or enforced”.
The court also heard that, four days after the accident, Lothian Buses produced guidance for staff requiring them to wear eye protection.
Following the accident, Mr Carey’s relationship with his partner ended as he struggled to come to terms with his blindness, while he suffered a “major” bout of depression for six months. He remains “vulnerable to future periods of depression”.
Mr Carey decided to emigrate to Australia in September last year, settling near Perth, where he found work as a diesel fitter.
Lawyers for his former employers denied his claims that he was sacked in April 2009 after deciding to sue the firm for damages, adding that he was dismissed for “reasons unconnected to his injury”.
Ian Craig, managing director of Lothian Buses, said the case had been settled and the firm would make no further comment on it. Mr Carey’s solicitors, Russell Jones & Walker, were contacted for comment but failed to respond.